Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Caritas Launches Appeal for Sahel (West Africa) Food Crisis

13 March 2012

Caritas Launches Appeal for Sahel (West Africa) Food Crisis

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has launched a Special Appeal and pledged NZ$50,000 towards averting severe hunger and deaths in the Sahel region of West Africa.

‘An estimated 13 million people are in grave danger,’ says Caritas Director Julianne Hickey. ‘This has been brought on by severe drought, poor harvests, and rising food prices – made worse by regional conflict.’

‘Drought is a natural phenomenon, but famine is caused by human action – or inaction,’ she says. Hundreds of thousands of people died needlessly in the Horn of Africa last year because the international community took too long to respond. Eventually, concerted action by humanitarian agencies helped avert a far greater disaster in most of the affected countries. ‘There is no excuse for people to die of hunger in our world today,’ says Ms Hickey.

The international Caritas network is providing a coordinated response across five of the most severely affected countries in the Sahel – Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania. In Niger alone, about 5.5 million people face hunger because of drought. Without assistance, communities are being forced to rely on traditional coping mechanisms. Some of these practices can make things worse in the long-term, such as burning trees to make charcoal or selling-off of livestock.

Caritas is distributing essential food to the most vulnerable; seeds and agricultural inputs for planting; and setting up both Food for Work and Cash for Work programmes. Young children, and pregnant and breast-feeding women, are the focus of special food assistance. The Caritas network is also establishing emergency water, hygiene and sanitation facilities in Niger, as thousands of refugees flee fighting in northern Mali between the country’s army and a rebel group.

‘Intervention now will help prevent a catastrophic event such as we saw in the Horn of Africa,’ says Ms Hickey.

Caritas Humanitarian Programmes Officer Mark Mitchell has just returned from Kenya, where he saw the difference that good, effective relief programmes made after last year’s Horn of Africa drought.

‘Lessons have been learnt from the Horn of Africa,’ says Mr Mitchell, ‘in terms of responding quicker and noticing the warning signs and thresholds of hardship earlier.’

‘I’ve seen the importance of Food for Work schemes in putting in place better water supplies, using better collection methods and improving access to water in the long term.’

Donations to Caritas for the Sahel crisis can be made by:

Phoning 0800 22 10 22 to make credit card donations or
Donating online using a credit card at www.caritas.org.nz or
Posting to Caritas, PO Box 12193, Thorndon, Wellington 6144, New Zealand.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 168 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

For more information visit www.caritas.org.nz.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gaza.Scoop: UNRWA School, Ambulances Attacked - Gaza MOH

The Ministry of Health Gaza expresses its horror and outrage at the latest Israeli massacre moments ago at an UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons in Beit Hanoun. Ten people have been killed and there is a large number of wounded. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Minister Told Of FBI Investigation, Says INZ: Coleman Must Quit Or Be Sacked Over Dotcom Case - Harré

Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. More>>

ALSO:

Valedictory Season: Maori Party Founders Say Goodbye

Two major Maori MPs gave there farewell speeches to Parliament Thursday outlining their history, experiences, triumphs and regrets. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Not Accepted: Transport Minister Breaches Aviation Security Rules

"Running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport, I without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only..." More>>

ALSO:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news